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Monday, November 1, 2010


Right in the middle of this Argentine film about murder & delayed justice, there’s a wallapalooza of a shot that flies, with no visible edit, right into a soccer stadium, swoops down to the stands and then picks up two men who start chasing the main suspect. Thru the stands, down the aisles, around the ramps, over a ledge, even onto the playing field. It’s a five-minute cinematic tour de force. But then it’s back to the second-rate crime procedural we’ve been watching, the third-rate psychological thriller we’ve seen many times before, and the wispy late middle-aged romance that makes up the rest of this Oscar’d Best Foreign pic. The script adds a bit of political camouflage to add unearned resonance to this one; the murderer was sent to jail, but then freed by the corrupt government. Now, decades have passed and the freed man has disappeared. The big revelations are all too easy to bother guessing, the acting is larded with undigested romantic melancholy (you keep expecting the leads to start mooing at each other) and the ‘shocking’ twist that must remain buried holds all the charge of wool socks generating static electricity on a dry winter’s day. Oscar strikes again.

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